WILSON: New England culinary cruise: Part one

As some of you may already know, I recently retired from my most recent career position. Unfortunately, due to all the COVID-19 hub-bub, I am not sure of the exact moment of my retirement.

Mine was a very surreal transition from being a gainfully employed, contributing member of society, to becoming an old codger, living on a fixed-income and chasing stray dogs off my lawn. Like so many others, sometime around mid-March I was banished from my office and laboratory, forced to lounge around for several months and suddenly my direct-deposit paycheck morphed into a direct-deposit social security check.

It took a while, but I found the lounging around part of my routine to be quite satisfying. I have decided to make that a primary requirement for my next career choice.

One of the best perks of this retirement gig is being able to head off on a voyage without first having to ask my boss for permission. A very good friend (and his lovely wife) have vacationed on Cape Cod, in early September, for nearly two decades. For several of those years, they have invited me to join them. Alas, due to my profession, September vacations were an impossibility. This year changed all that.

Also, as most of you do not already know, I have been pursuing a vigorous dietary touring regimen, put in place by my very own personal culinary tour guide — who reluctantly agreed to take on the task of transforming me from a Wendy’s four-for-four cholesterol barbarian, into a connoisseur (in training) of fine dining. A daunting (and expensive) task.

When parts of Massachusetts (specifically Cape Cod) became loosely emancipated from their governor’s very strict lockdown requirements, my buddy called and excitedly extended his annual invitation. This time, I responded with an emphatic. “You bet!” Followed by a hesitant, “Can I bring my personal culinary tour guide?” I knew if I was going to the land of “chowdah” and “lobstah,” I was going to need professional help.

Quite fortuitously, my PCTG’s birthday just happens to fall in the middle of the planned adventure. Sooo…I hedged my bets by asking, “How would you like to have lobster for your birthday — on Cape Cod?”

The answer was an immediate (and emphatic), “You bet!”

Our base of operations was a scene from a Bob Hope/Bing Crosby movie, set in a picturesque New England resort. Imagine a stretch of look-alike, knotty pine, 1950s era cottages — perched along a 16-inch-wide brick walkway, above a miles-long seawall, looking out over Cape Cod Bay. Then envision sitting in an Adirondack chair, watching seals frolic in the surf and whales breaching in the distance — while Bing Crosby croons a song. Other than the Bing Crosby part, that was our exact experience.

A few miles beyond our cottage, near the outermost point on the Cape, sits one of the first settlements in the “New World.” In 1620, the pilgrims were headed to the Colony of Virginia, but strong winter seas forced them to take refuge in, what is now, Provincetown Harbor.

On a rise of land above the harbor, grew the historic and culturally eccentric seaside village of Provincetown. I am not an expert, but for my money, no trip to Cape Cod is complete without a visit to the unique atmosphere of “P-Town.”

A day-long excursion, in celebration of my PCTG’s birthday, began in P-Town. We then wandered down the shoreline along US-6 (the same US-6 that starts its journey at the outermost point of Cape Cod, travels through Nappanee, Indiana, and ends more than 3,000 miles away by the Pacific Ocean in Bishop, California). Our birthday travels took us from one quaint seaside fishing village to another harbor hugging hamlet.

Eventually, I piloted the airport rental land-yacht into the safe harbor of Wellfleet, where we found the highly recommended seafood restaurant, appropriately named, Moby Dick’s. Although birthday lobster was promised, my personal culinary tour guide instead chose to dine on scallops. I relied on my year of intensive (and expensive) culinary touring and ordered the swordfish. Together, we shared a half-a-dozen oysters on the half-shell (my PCTG had four and I had two — it wasn’t my birthday).

Wait a minute! What about the birthday lobster? Well…our adventure was not confined to just Cape Cod. Eventually, I aimed the land-yacht toward Maine. Check in next week and drool over some delicious Maine “lobstah,” served in hot “buttah.”

News

Video shows altercation at flag football game in Niles

Breaking News

Fire contained at former Niles Inn

Brandywine Education

Former Brandywine teacher charged with accosting a minor for immoral purposes, use of a computer to commit a felony

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports two COVID-19 deaths

Berrien County

4-H announces alumni, supporters walking challenge

Education

Ballard Elementary, Niles High School to remain remote through end of the week

Business

Niles real estate agent named Realtor of the Year

News

Evergreen Road special assessment district created

Cass County

Cass County millages on the ballot for May 4

Dowagiac

Dowagiac announces March students of the month

Buchanan

Local provisioning centers celebrate cannabis holiday with sales, overcome software snags

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 799,140 cases, 16,986 deaths

Dowagiac

DUS to install classroom phones in elementary schools, high school

Berrien County

Berrien County 4-H Leaders Association sets annual meeting

Dowagiac

DUS Board of Education honors Class of 2021 Top 10

Buchanan

Buchanan HCU member center lands new leadership

Berrien County

United Way of Southwest Michigan invites community to honor leaders during National Volunteer Week

Buchanan

Buchanan provisioning center raises money to fight cannabis injustices

Cass County

Cass County Sheriff’s Office K9 finds home invasion, larceny suspect

Berrien County

UPDATE: Sheriff’s office finds missing Niles man

Brandywine Education

Teacher resigns after allegedly soliciting 14-year-old

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 793,881 cases, 16,901 deaths

Business

Cassopolis to welcome first marijuana dispensary

Berrien County

Merritt Elementary hosting pet supply drive for area shelters